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GOP lawmaker campaigning on efforts to impeach IRS chief

GOP lawmaker campaigning on efforts to impeach IRS chief
© Anne Wernikoff

Rep. John FlemingJohn Calvin FlemingTrump wants Congress to delay Census deadlines amid pandemic Meadows sets up coronavirus hotline for members of Congress The Hill's Morning Report - Iran strikes US bases in Iraq; Trump to speak today MORE (R-La.) is fundraising for his Louisiana Senate campaign off his efforts to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

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Fleming's campaign sent an email to supporters on Tuesday, asking them to sign a petition to “stop IRS abuse” and donate to his bid for the open seat.

“For too long the IRS has been abusing American Taxpayers. Illegally targeting conservatives. AND getting away with it. Well, that’s about to end,” Fleming said in the email. “Friend, I’m fighting back with an impeachment vote against the head of the IRS.”

“It has become standard procedure for the Obama Administration to betray the public’s trust ... AND THEN COVER IT UP.

“The officials in charge at the IRS have followed the same dishonest playbook they’ve used for every scandal from ‘Fast & Furious’ to Hillary’s emails.”

His campaign account has tweeted a link to an article from The Hill about the impeachment efforts.

Campaign press secretary Matt Beynon had a simple message to add: “Don’t you believe that a member of Congress should be standing up for taxpayers?”

He said that throughout his campaign, Fleming has been talking about his conservative record, noting that the impeachment push is just one part of that.

“He is the candidate who doesn’t just talk the talk, but also walks the walk for his constituents,” Beynon said.

Fleming, along with Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), filed a “privileged resolution” on impeaching Koskinen in July in an effort to force a vote on the House floor. 

Fleming has told The Hill he intends to move forward with the measure this month, regardless of whether House GOP leadership supports an impeachment vote. 

Conservatives argue that Koskinen should be impeached because he failed to comply with a subpoena and allegedly lied under oath, hindering congressional investigations into the political-targeting scandal.

Koskinen took office several months after a Treasury Department watchdog revealed in 2013 that the IRS had subjected conservative groups’s applications for tax-exempt status to extra scrutiny. He has said that the allegations against him lack merit.

Fleming isn't the first politician to campaign on his push to impeach Koskinen. Politico reported in May that Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) had campaigned and raised money off his efforts to impeach Koskinen. DeSantis, who was running for Senate at the time, was criticized for doing so by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Fleming is running to replace retiring GOP Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterBiden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status Bottom line Lysol, Charmin keep new consumer brand group lobbyist busy during pandemic MORE (La.).

As a result of Louisiana’s “jungle-primary system,” Fleming will be one of 24 people on the ballot for the Senate seat in November.

Other Republicans running include state Treasurer John Kennedy, Rep. Charles BoustanyCharles William BoustanyFormer lawmakers call on leadership to focus on unity Partial disengagement based on democratic characteristics: A new era of US-China economic relations Lobbying world MORE and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Democrats include state Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell and attorney Caroline Fayard.

If no candidate gets a majority of the vote in November, the top two finishers will face off in a runoff in December.